So here are some tips that might, just maybe, keep you out of the undergrowth and on the straight and narrow the next time you drive in Italy.

Motorways; the key thing to remember when driving on an Italian motorway is; never EVER allow the gap between you and the car in front to become wide enough to squeeze another car into. Because if you do, the car behind – which will be traveling 4mm from your back bumper – will immediately undertake you and insert itself straight into that gap.

And at no time during this ambitious but highly skilled maneuver will the undertaking driver take his or her elbow off the window sill – because another key thing to remember about driving in Italy is that you must NEVER look like you actually care.

Towns; the single most important piece of equipment to use when driving in an Italian town is not the brake or the accelerator, nor even the steering wheel; it is the horn. Venturing into an Italian town without a working horn would be much like going out to bat without wearing pads, gloves or box – ie bound to end in tears.

The horn is not just used as a warning system in Italian towns, either. It’s also a method of encouragement, blown loudly at the car in front whenever a traffic light turns green, for example. Occasionally it can be used as a sign of approval, usually between males and females, although nowadays – and especially in Rome – you never can tell.